News Item

University of Nottingham holds London 2012 Sports Research Relay

15 June 2012

Researchers from the University of Nottingham showcased their work in a relay presentation event held at Nottingham Tennis Centre on the final day of the 2012 AEGON Trophy.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham

Nine researchers each gave eight-minute presentations about the impact that work taking place in the city will have on some of the summer’s biggest sporting events – including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

PhD Engineering student Stuart Morris spoke about Great Britain’s Olympic canoe slalom team’s use of his new kayak design. A former canoe Gold Medal winner in the European Freestyle Cup Championships, Morris, has been working on a ground-breaking project to develop a scientific methodology for the ultimate kayak design to maximise athletes’ performance in the sport. He said:

“Our formalising of the design process aims to provide the GB Slalom Team with tailor-made equipment which will help them produce their best performances on race day. It will be fascinating to see how they fare in the London Olympic Games this summer and their medal tally could be an interesting measurement of this original research.”

Nevertheless, there were also less-obvious links between the University’s research and the Olympic Games. Dr Donal McNally delivered his lecture on ‘The Mystery of Spines, Sports and Stress Fractures’ looking into how elite athletes in rotational sports such as hockey and tennis are more likely to get a certain type of spinal fracture, which has befallen some of GB’s top tennis players in the past.

Meanwhile, Omar Tayari presented his research on polyester as the most effective antibacterial material for sports clothing, giving health benefits for athletes.

Rebecca Dowsett, Researcher Training and Development Manager and organiser of the event said: “There is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes in elite sport that you don’t expect. The departments of sport medicine, psychology and engineering are doing really interesting work. It was a real eye opener.

“The Olympic Games is obviously inspiring people to get more active, and with that inspiring academics to look into and research sports, which is fantastic.”

The full list of speakers from the event:

• Luke Hogarth - Steps to Active Kids
• Stuart Morris - Olympic kayak designer’s quest for gold
• Madalina Stalniceau - Barack Obama and Basketball
• Dr Donal McNally - The Mystery of Spines, Sports and Stress Fractures
• Francisco Fallucchi - Information and Competition
• Kishen Rengaraj - Making the affordable racing bike
• Dr Ashley Simpson - Rowing increases your pain threshold
• Omar Tayari - How effective are antibacterial materials?
• Oliver Croad - Bungee jumping into muscle proteins

By Ruth Faulkner

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